On Time [Adult Literacy Programme]

28th July 2017

Time passes slowly up here in the daylight We stare straight ahead and try so hard to stay right Like the red rose of summer that blooms in the day Time passes slowly and fades away

~Bob Dylan, Time Passes Slowly | New Morning, 1970

  Throughout my placement here in Busembatia, Uganda, time has been central to the entire experience. There is something quaintly and quietly off about the time here, in many ways. People keep time differently, even tell time differently than I am used to back home. Moreover, time passes fast and slowly. Days pass fleetingly and weeks last for months and months last forever and are out before you notice it. It has now been six months, almost to the day, since I arrived. Time ground to a halt for the first weeks, when everything was new. I would arrive a little before 2 in the afternoon, fully prepped for my introductory sessions with the women I would be spending months with. Knowing I knew not what to expect, I expected at least that my eagerness would be met. It was, even if it did not take the form of punctuality and a nervous energy to match mine. Joseph and I sat, as we would sit

12th May 2017

Jamie works as Adult Literacy intern for WIL Uganda. Every weekday, he reaches out to women in the community to teach them English. But there’s more to teaching English than just learning new words: empowering women is what our organisation is about. “Mulija Bukonte. Ndi musomesa,” I answer the conductor on the matatu. He asked me where I was going and what I am doing here. I am a teacher and have been working in this community in Busembatia for 3 months now. Today, Joseph and I reach out to Angela in Bukonte. Angela and many women like her on our programme have received little or no formal education. Their levels vary greatly, but what they have in common is their age-bracket. They are all adults, and I am, as of three months, an adult literacy teacher. I have been a teacher for quite some time now, starting as a private tutor. I taught a skills course at my university during my BA and MA. Most recently I have been working with students that had been in conflict with the law, or came from turbulent at-home situations or had had an otherwise bumpy ride in life so far. What they had in common was a healthy dislike for school, class and teachers. Getting them to pay me some attention other than utter disdain was a daily battle. I thought teaching adult women who came to us of their own volition would be a stroll

24th February 2017

My name is Vincent Zinunula. Zinunula is a language proverb that goes: “E Zinunula Omunaku, lugaba azituunga kiro.” This would literally be translated in English as “The money which redeems a poor man is minted by God overnight.” The Luganda proverb is meant to always give the Baganda people hope whenever they find themselves in desperate situations.

“If you educate a woman, you educate a nation”

I joined WIL Uganda at the request of Cianne Jones. She visited the project I was running at the moment. Then she asked me to work on the Adult Literacy program because of my experience in working with adult learners. At the time I was very ready to help. It felt right because I had the experience, and my organization had had many volunteers over, while I had never volunteered before. Now it is my turn, I thought. From the beginning I supported the mission of WIL Uganda. As far as I’m concerned, if you educate a woman, you educate a nation. For me it was very important to give my input on how we can elevate the women of Uganda. Now, I’ve been with WIL Uganda since the beginning in August 2014. To me, Women in Leadership can mean a lot of things. You can look at it from many angles, but the primary meaning is always this: women are our mothers. We get our first education from them. By helping them and te